The Secretary General of the All-Africa Students Union, (AASU), Peter Kwasi KODJIE has called on global leaders to prioritize the efforts of teachers and consider them as frontline workers in wake of COVID-19.
As the world commemorates world Teachers day, the theme for this year’s celebration is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.
In a statement issued by the General Secretary, he emphasized that teachers also play important roles in molding a nation, therefore, expressing his solidarity with Educational International and UNESCO to celebrate teachers for their tireless contribution to world education.
Since the emergence of covid-19 at Wuhan, China, the world has been devastated by its impacts on every aspect of life, with most of the hardest hits being teachers and the educational sector in general.
Over 63 million primary and secondary school teachers across the globe are bearing the brunt of the covid-19 pandemic which has brought the greatest of economies to its knees, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report indicates.
The UNESCO report further said, the pandemic has caused nearly 1.6 billion learners, more than 90% of the world’s total enrolled student population to be affected by school closures.
Mr. Peter Kwasi KODJIE in the statement said, “The purpose of the World Teachers’ Day is to acknowledge the achievements of Teachers and raise awareness around challenges facing them and their role in the achievement of global education targets. And so, today, the All-Africa Students Union, recognizing the importance of Teachers, the great impact of Teachers in the lives of students and the great sacrifices Teachers make for students, especially amidst the COVID-19, joins UNESCO to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day”.
Teachers were not only at home during the peak of the pandemic just like the rest of Ghanaians, but some concerns have been raised by stakeholders, indicating the neglect of teachers, especially private practitioners.
Teachers, according to the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), are among the least, if not the least to benefit from some government social interventions put in place to curtail the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on Ghanaian citizens.
Mr. Kodjie applauded teachers for their tireless efforts despite their plights during this pandemic. Teachers are forced to adapt to remote teaching to ensure students receive the needed support in the pursuance of their education.
He noted that, “As one of the purposes of the commemoration of the World Teachers’ Day is to identify the challenges teachers face, it is of much importance that with respect to this year’s theme, teachers are supported to adapt to the remote learning systems through the provision of resources and training on new technologies for remote learning”.
Though a popular Ghanaian Parlance states that Teachers have their reward in heaven, you will agree that their efforts are worth appreciated on earth too.
The relevance of Teachers resulted in the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, because of which UNESCO celebrates World Teachers’ Day (WTD) every year on 5 October since 1994. The Recommendation covers the rights and responsibilities of teachers, their professional development, employment, teaching, and learning conditions. Again, it contains recommendations for Teachers’ participation in decision-making in the educational setting through social dialogue and negotiation with educational authorities. WTD also memorialises the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel in 1997, which provides for the rights and responsibilities of higher-education teaching and research personnel. Again, Target 4.c of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), recognises teachers as a key contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda.